Do you need a fun, fresh take on a dish for your Holiday Ham leftovers? Something easy, fast, and crave-worthy? You’re gonna want to rock this Hawaiian Fried Rice. It’s such a completely different take on leftover ham that you’ll look like a genius when you bring this to the table! 🙂
I’m guessing on the Islands, Spam might find its way into this Hawaiian Fried Rice, but a little leftover ham is like magic with the sweet pineapple that finishes this dish. The bright, fresh veggies add a little crunch and some interest and the silky sauce is flavor for days! This is a fab Asian fusion that’s going to have you wishing for more ham leftovers!
About Hawaiian Fried Rice:
This dish is salty, sweet, and umami deliciousness. If you don’t have leftover ham, just pick up a small ham steak; it’s likely to cost a bit more per pound than a larger ham, especially one you have leftover from a holiday and bought on sale, but there’s not enough in this dish to break the bank. Keep in mind, though, any Fried Rice, just like this one, is a great way not only to use your leftover ham, but also to use bits of this and bits of that from the fridge or freezer, including the rice.
Hawaiian Fried Rice is just wonderful like is, but is also absolutely riffable. I love that, don’t you? You can pretty much put in whatever veggies you’d like. Go basic with carrots & peas, dress it up a bit with bell peppers and green onions, or lean toward the Asian side of things and add water chestnuts, bean sprouts, and/or bamboo shoots. There’s no going wrong, here.
The only thing to keep in mind is that there is a little bit of planning involved. You’ll want to start with cold rice, so make it ahead, use leftover, or make it, lay it out on a wax paper or parchment lined sheet tray, and toss that rice into the freezer for 20 minutes or so. The point is to have rice that’s not perfectly fresh but instead has had a bit of time to dry. That’s what keeps it from becoming sticky or soggy when making any fried rice.
Making Fried Rice:
This sauce is super simple and really not particular. You can pretty much let what’s in your cupboard & fridge dictate what you’ll use. Just customize it to your taste.
For me, it’s Oyster or Hoisin sauce for a deep, rich background flavor, Soy for saltiness, and a touch of Rice Vinegar (sometimes labeled Rice Wine Vinegar) to cut the sweet pineapple. I love a little heat, so white pepper sparks it up and if your fried rice is always lacking, that is probably the secret you’re missing. Now, If you have small children, go easy on it, leave the white pepper out, and just use milder black pepper, instead.
Perfect fried rice isn’t difficult, and if you’ve got a large pan and a great stove, you can make this all in one batch and have stellar fried rice with no worries. If you need to, saute up the veg, cook the egg, and divide everything into two batches. Check out some of my other suggestions in my post for the Asian Grandmother’s Fried Rice.
Storing and Reheating Hawaiian Fried Rice:
When working with any rice, either leftover rice saved for this dish, or leftovers from this dish, be sure to refrigerate promptly. Rice can harbor spores that can multiply at room temperature, don’t diminish with heat, and can make you ill.
Leftover fried rice is like gold in the fridge; it heats up easily in the microwave and tastes just as good the 2nd time around as the first. It will store well for three or four days.
Now, in my opinion, any fried rice is just not as great once it’s been frozen, although there are many different brands of frozen fried rice out there. Honestly, I don’t think they’re as great as freshly made, but your own certainly won’t be any worse than any of the commercial varieties, and likely will be a little better! At the very least, it’s gonna be customized to your liking! It should keep for a month or two, frozen, without any problem. Longer storage might likely find some of the rice becoming dried and hard. Reheat it from the frozen state, loosely covered, stirring it after a minute or two.
Saving Money on Hawaiian Fried Rice:
- Fried rice is already a savings, because it is at its best with leftover rice. You might just want to make extra rice when cooking rice for another dinner or just use what leftovers you might have on hand. Anytime you find yourself with leftover rice rather than leaving it in the fridge to be forgotten, get in the habit of adding it to a Ziploc and freezing it; you’ll never find yourself tossing it.
- This is a great dish to use a little of that, like leftover ham, as well as little bits of this and that in your fridge or freezer.
- As for the condiments used in fried rice, buy at an Asian market for the best prices or check your grocery store, especially around the Chinese New Year when items like these are often on sale, and often unadvertised. The Chinese New Year (it is the same as the Lunar New Year) changes dates every year.
Hawaiian Fried Rice
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
- Category: Main Pork
- Cuisine: Asian
- 2 tablespoons soy
- 1 to 2 tablespoons oyster or hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- white pepper or black pepper to taste (suggest 1/4 teaspoon white pepper)
- 2 to 3 tablespoon oil, divided as needed
- 1½ to 2 cups diced ham
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- about 2 cups your choice vegetables: diced bell pepper and/or carrot, peas, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, etc. See note.
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 cups cold, cooked rice
- 1 small can pineapple tidbits, drained, or about a cut diced pineapple
- sauce (above)
- chopped green onions for garnish
Mix sauce ingredients, set aside. You can always add more of any ingredient when the rice is finished.
Add a tablespoon oil to a large skillet or wok and heat to medium high heat. Add the ham and cook, stirring now and then until a little browned and crispy on edges. Remove to a large plate.
Add a little more oil and cook and add onions and vegetables that need to be cooked through, like the bell pepper and/or carrot, if using. Fry, stirring often, until tender. Push to one side and add the beaten eggs. Let cook until they become opaque, then chop and stir them. Set aside the veggies and eggs on the plate with the ham.
Add a little more oil and when hot, add rice, cooking for a minute or two, picking it up and turning with the spatula, until it becomes just a little bit toasted. Add the vegetables, egg and ham mixture back in. Add pineapple and if using, peas, water chestnuts and/or bamboo shoots.
Drizzle with the sauce ingredients, stir all together and taste. Add more soy if it needs more salt, pepper or white pepper to taste or more of any of the sauce ingredients if desired.
Turn out onto a large platter. Garnish with green onions.
- Any raw vegetables will need to be cooked with the onions. Cooked or partially cooked vegetables, such as frozen peas or canned vegetables will be added later after the rice has been toasted.
- If you do not have a large pan and a good, hot burner, cook through the point that the eggs and veggies are removed. Add in half the rice, then use half of the rest of ingredients. Turn it out onto the platter and repeat with remaining ingredients.
Keywords: Bamboo Shoots, Bargain Meal of the Week, Bean Sprouts, Bell Peppers, Carrots, complete skillet meal, Eggs, fried rice, Ham, Hawaiian, Hoisin, leftover ham, leftover rice, Oyster Sauce, Peas, Pineapple, Pork, Rice, sesame oil, soy sauce, water chestnuts
I’ll be taking this recipe to Fiesta Friday number 204, hosted this week by Sandhya @ Indfused.com. If you’ve never stopped by Sandhya’s blog, full of Indian and Indian American fusion, do so! You’re in for a treat. And be sure to stop by Fiesta Friday and see all the New Year’s posts! Party food galore. Happy New Year’s, ya’all!
If you came to this recipe looking for a way to use leftover ham, be sure to check out the link below for 12 Days of Ham. You might want to see the sister post for 12 Days of Turkey, too.